I planned to participate in the 3rd Annual Silent Poetry Reading today, but the day got away from me. Now, with only a few minutes left before a new day begins, I offer this poem, by Thomas Hardy.
A Commonplace Day
The day is turning ghost
And scuttles from the kalendar in fits and furtively,
To join the anonymous host
Of those that throng oblivion; ceding his place, maybe,
To one of like degree.
I part the fire-gnawed logs,
Rake forth the embers, spoil the busy flames, and lay the ends
Upon the shining dogs;
Further and further from the nooks the twilight’s stride extends,
And beamless black impends.
Nothing of tiniest worth
Have I wrought, pondered, planned; no one thing asking blame or praise,
Since the pale corpse-like birth
Of this diurnal unit, bearing blanks in all its rays —
Dullest of dull-hued Days!
Wanly upon the panes
The rain slides, as have slid since morn my colourless thoughts; and yet
Here, while Day’s presence wanes,
And over him the sepulchre-lid is slowly lowered and set,
He wakens my regret.
Regret — though nothing dear
That I wot of, was toward in the wide world at his prime,
Or bloomed elsewhere than here,
To die with his decease, and leave a memory sweet, sublime,
Or mark him out in Time…
–Yet, maybe, in some soul,
In some spot undiscerned on sea or land, some impulse rose,
Or some intent upstole
Of that enkindling ardency from whose maturer glows
The world’s amendment flows;
But which, benumbed at birth
By momentary chance or wile, has missed its hope to be
Embodied on the earth;
And undervoicings of this loss to man’s futurity
May wake regret in me.